Fatherless

Published on Mar 19th, 2015 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Fatherless

Fatherless

Approximately two weeks ago my mom became a widow and my brother, sister, and I became fatherless.  Those words, widow and fatherless, which I have used many times in sermons and in describing others, immediately carried a different weight to me.  They seemed to be a little darker.  I found I was beginning to not only know their dictionary meaning but was also experiencing the emotions and emptiness that they can carry.  Even though my mom is in her eighties and my siblings and I are in our fifties…there still is weight to those new words that describe us.  I found my mind wandering to those families for whom I have done funerals for their loved ones.  I was now able to know just a little more about what those days are really like.  Our family was laughing one moment, crying the next, lost in thought in another moment, and oddly calm the next.  For me personally I found that I immediately began to relate better to those who were also fatherless.  I thanked God that he allowed my dad to stay so long in my life but I began to empathize with those who lost their dad early in life.  I began to realize that I truly felt that I had a greater connection with all of those who have lost their dads.  Hebrews 4:15 came to my mind, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every aspect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”  Jesus is able to sympathize with us because he took on flesh and dwelt among us.  He shared our experiences.  Shared experiences bring a bond of understanding and empathy.  II Corinthians 1 shares with us that we take what we receive from God and then share that with others.  I hope I can do that more and more as I walk with Christ through being fatherless.

David writes in Psalm 68:4-5, “Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides in the deserts; his name is the LORD; exult before him! Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.”  In these two weeks since my dad died I have found joy in knowing that I am about to know God in a different way.  Since I became a believer he has been my heavenly father but now I will get to know him as a father to the fatherless.  My mom will get to know him as the protector of widows.  That excites me.  As I sat and contemplated all the times I would miss my dad, all the times I would want to call and learn from his wisdom and would not have that available, I began to be comforted by the truth that God would reveal himself to me in a new way.  He would be my father because I am fatherless.  What could be better than that?

I named this blog after my dad’s favorite verse.  I Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”  God so worked in my dad’s life that his funeral service became a testimony of a life not lived in vain.  It was so moving to hear folks share of how God used my dad to lead them to the Lord and then to disciple them throughout the years.  The last few months of my dad’s life were spent in and out of the hospital.  Even during those months God opened my dad’s mouth to share the gospel time and time again.  His life was used by God to be a model of being steadfast, immovable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord.  Our prayer as a family is that God would continue to do that in our lives, the lives of our children, and in the lives of the grandchildren.  I praise God that my dad’s life was not wasted and that he was a changed man whose funeral became a testimony of how God can use us to make a difference in eternity.  I will miss my dad but do not grieve as those who have no hope.  I will see my dad again someday and I trust that at my funeral my children will be able to find joy in knowing that my life was not lived in vain.

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